Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We Love the Rink!

Minnesota winters are tough and long. No doubt about that! We try to get outside as much as we can but the unpredictability of the weather poses quite a challenge.  With so many small kids, I have found the indoor ice rink to be a real sanity savor. Not to mention the fact that I LOVE SKATING!  I'm trying to find and encourage more homeschooling moms in my area to meet us at the rink so I thought I'd do a post about why we love skating at the arena.  It a good time to think about skating next year because the skates will be going on clearance and can be found at rummage sales through out the summer.

Reason #1
Predictable weather- It's always about 25-30 degrees. I can easily plan for who needs what amounts of clothing to stay warm. And there's never any wind-chill factors unless you're skating really fast. :)

Reason #2
Predictable ice- The ice is always good and freshly Zamboni'ed. No showing up at the outdoor rink to find a foot of snow or poor ice.  The ice goes on in October and off in April. No worries about warmer weather melting or not allowing freezing.

Reason #3
Stroller-friendly warm areas and plenty of space for toddlers to roam, tables for snacks and even comfy chairs for nursing a baby.  We have been able to bring our strollers out onto the ice for our non-skaters. Although, next year, I hoping to find a mom to watch my littlest ones in exchange for teaching her kids how to skating. 

Reason #4
Reduced germ exposure-  Finding large muscle activities for kids to do in the winter is always tricky and I have NO interest in taking my kids to those large indoor playlands. Ewww! Because I'm a germ-a-phobe or something.

Reason #5
Great exercise-  Maybe this should be reason #1 but skating in wonderful winter exercise. I never realize what a great workout I'm getting until later when I lay down with the girls for naps. So tired! Even if I didn't skate and just took my kids to the rink so they could skate, the lobby, halls, stairs and bleachers at the arena offer endless possibilities for an indoor work out.

Reason #6
Life long sport- I think if kids start skating by the time they are 4-5  years old and get regular ice time, they will be comfortable on the ice for a lifetime.  We started our kids at 3 1/2 and 2 1/2 years old.  It's a lot of work to get them skating but we are laying the ground work for an exciting social activity when they get into their teen years.  

Reason #7
Affordability- We got a season pass to the arena for $90.  That was for two adults and four kids to use the rink five days a week for 7 months. Try getting a family pass to a gym for $12 a month. Walking the halls while your kids skate would be free! 

Reason #8
No crowds-  Open skating is from 11am-1pm during the week days. Most days, it was only our family out on the ice. Maybe one or two other people.  Which means there's plenty of room for new friends to join us!  They also have a second sheet of ice that they would open up if there were more people or some people wanted to do hockey.  

Reason #9
Great family activity- Kids and adults of all ages and abilities and can skate together and learn together and have fun together.

There's no avoiding winter, so it's best to learn to enjoy it! :)

See Julia in the stroller at the entrance?
Some kids need a lot of support

It's good to start when they can use the pushers
Amanda started at 3 1/2 yrs
Tristan skating with a friend 

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